Heartland Institute

Climate Deniers Backed Violence and Spread Pro-Insurrection Messages Before, During, and After January 6

Read time: 12 mins
A crowd of Trump supporters with 'stop the steal' signs at night outside the US Capitol the day it was violently stormed

On the evening of January 6, 2021, the day of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, former coal mining executive Don Blankenship, who ran against Donald Trump as a third-party candidate in the 2020 election, began an all-caps Twitter thread.

Why is it that American politicians and the American media support citizen uprisings in China, Poland, South Africa, and throughout the world, but when an American citizen is killed during an uprising against a corrupt American government the citizens are at fault?” @DonBlankenship posted on Twitter.

William Briggs

William M. Briggs


  • Ph.D., Statistics, Cornell University (2004). [1]
  • M.S., Atmospheric Science, Cornell University (1995). [1]
  • B.S., Meteorology and Math, Central Michigan University (1992). [1]


Read time: 28 mins

Climate Deniers Moved Rapidly to Spread Misinformation During and After Attack on US Capitol

Read time: 7 mins
The pro-Trump mob outside of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. 

Prominent climate science deniers moved rapidly to spread false and misleading conspiracy theories online during and after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters this week.

Some climate deniers, including some with ties to the Heartland Institute and other organizations that have historically helped to create the false impression that there is sizeable scientific disagreement on climate change, also directly expressed support for the attackers and called for more violence.

Trump Appoints Pair of Climate Science Deniers to NOAA While Climate-Fueled Fires and Storms Rage

Read time: 8 mins
NOAA sign

The White House has made a pair of controversial appointments to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), positioning within the climate science agency two individuals who consistently misrepresent and disagree with the scientific consensus on various issues concerning climate change and who have notable ties with conservative think tanks that disseminate climate science denial. 

Ronald Stein

Ronald Stein


  • B.S., Electrical Engineering, California State University, Northridge (1962 – 1964). [1]


Read time: 25 mins

As QAnon Conspiracy Spreads on the Far Right, Climate Science Deniers Jump Aboard

Read time: 10 mins
Person in 'Secede' t-shirt holds a QAnon flag in front of Confederate flag

Back in December 2019, two conspiratorial worldviews collided as, for the first time, QAnon’s Q suggested his followers should question anew a topic that, by now, has been considered, and reconsidered, for decades: climate change.

The Paris Agreement on Climate is Another Scam to Ripoff Taxpayers and Enrich the Politicians,” the Q-Drop (the term QAnon followers use to refer to messages they believe come from some sort of government insider who signs messages with the letter Q) claimed, labeling climate action a “con.”

Fossil Fuel-Backed Climate Deniers Rush to Promote Michael Moore Documentary 'Planet of The Humans'

Read time: 11 mins
Michael Moore

Climate science deniers and long-time opponents of renewable energy, many with ties to oil and gas companies, have seized on Michael Moore’s latest documentary to argue the case for continued fossil fuel dependence.

Planet of the Humans investigates the environmental footprint of renewable technologies such as wind, solar and biomass, and argues that the green movement has sold out to corporate interests. The documentary has been viewed over five million times on YouTube since its release last week to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

But the film, produced by Moore and written and directed by his long-time collaborator Jeff Gibbs, has been widely criticised by energy and climate experts, who say it fails to provide context on the benefits of renewable energy and the negative impacts of fossil fuels, and is based on out-of-date information.

Frank Lasée

Frank Lasée


  • Bachelor's degree, (History Major, Business Administration Minor), University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. [1]


Read time: 14 mins

New Documents Show How Trump Interior Official Pushed Climate Misinformation into Federal Reports

Read time: 8 mins
Indur M. Goklany

A major New York Times investigative report, published March 2, revealed efforts by Indur M. Goklany, a Department of Interior employee with ties to the Heartland Institute and other fossil-funded denial organizations, to modify federal reports to include misleading information about climate science. 

DeSmog has obtained some of the emails cited by The Times in that investigation, published here for the first time.

Exposé Shows Rise of Heartland Institute’s Climate Denial Efforts Overseas, Using Dark Money and a YouTuber

Read time: 9 mins
Heartland Institute proposal

A recent German news report has shed light on the inner workings of the Heartland Institute’s international efforts to sow doubts about climate science using the dark money group Donors Trust. Part of those efforts include the climate science-denying organization touting its newest representative, a young German YouTube “influencer,” Naomi Seibt, whom Heartland markets as the deniers’ answer to breakout youth climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The U.S.-based Heartland Institute receives millions of dollars a year to fund its climate denial efforts and is looking to expand them in Germany, according to the undercover joint investigation by German outlets CORRECTIV and Frontal21.


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